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OU research celebrates 10th anniversary of Soil-Net

Image showing cartoon characters and text about soil

Researchers from The Open University (OU) and Cranfield University celebrate the 10th anniversary of Soil-Net this month (August 2017).

Soil-Net is a free, online soil science resource for school pupils and teachers – which has been used by over one and a half million people in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. A paper detailing the impact of the educational resource has also been published in the journal Soil Science by Dr Stephen Hallett, Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute and Dr Sally Caird, OU Lecturer in the STEM faculty.

Funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Soil-Net supports curricula. Analysis of usage data showed strong student learning through the interactive quizzes, and the user ratings and qualitative feedback from primary and secondary school students, teachers and parents showed positive satisfaction ratings.

Dr Caird said:

“Global interest in the online science education resource,, helps address longstanding policy concerns to raise awareness of soil as a major natural resource requiring careful management and protection.

Building on the OU’s in-house expertise in online learning and innovative pedagogies, we are delighted to work with Cranfield University on the continuing development of Soil-Net and the importance of environmental education for sustainable development.”

Read Soil-Net: Development and Impact of Innovative, Open, Online Soil Science Educational Resources in Soil Science.

Read the University of Cranfield news story

Read about Dr Caird’s research

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